Author Topic: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming  (Read 10108 times)

Offline Auggie

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Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« on: October 29, 2014, 11:12:20 am »
In the market for a Z-Wave controller and after discovering a competing product (Indigo, FWIW) can't distinguish certain functions of these switches (and judging from the response of its forum moderator that it's just "stupid," I don't think there will be any updates to incorporate these functions), I'm looking at the Vera to determine if it can:

The Cooper Wiring Devices Aspire RF9540-N and RF9542-Z use a vertical column of blue LEDs to indicate the current brightness level "setting" and is always lit regardless of whether the switch is in an "on" or "off" state, allowing the "preset" brightness to be adjusted even when the switch is off.  There is a separate amber LED to indicate the actual on/off state of the switch.

So to my question: Can the Vera recognize (and thereby program) the distinct differences of "on,", "off," and "brightness level?"  The competitor's product always assumes the "brightness" level also corresponds to it's on/off state, meaning if the switch is "off" then it assumes (incorrectly for these switches) that the brightness level/setting is always "0".

Since the remote switch settings (On/Off/Brightness Level) are completely independent from the intended master (and other remote switches for a 3+ way setup), I must be able to synchronize all the settings with all the "associated" switches: if a remote's brightness level is adjusted, regardless of whether light circuit is actually on or not, I must be able to match all the other switches' brightness level "setting" to the source switch without changing the current on/off state.  Since the competing product assumes that all dimmer commands are basically a "brightness level" event, it maps a brightness level of "0" to "off", and any other brightness level to "on," preventing me from independently querying or setting the brightness level separate from the on/off state; it will always assume a "brightness level" event other than the lowest setting is also an "on" event resulting in turning the switch on even if you don't want that to happen.

Can I operate these 9540/9542 switches correctly with the Vera?

Offline wholm

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2014, 10:42:59 pm »
Your details of your question are not 100% clear, but I will answer since I have extensive use of Vera UI5 and 7 and have these dimmers and remotes.  There are major bugs with Vera.  I have tried to work with Vera for over a year and whenever I ask about zwave versions and issues that are happening with the Dimmers (both remotes and masters) it seems to go into a black hole, which is a shame.  Support for really technical issues are VERY slow.  Routine issues are now quite quick with Vera. 

Now to answer the basic question:  Will it work, yes but I do not recommend Vera.

Now we get into the weeds and oh-by-the-ways:

There is a scenario where if you use the controller to manage a master, the remote will not update unless you set a special variable.  I believe this is true probably for about any controller except their own.  This setting will not correct the setting of the dimmer level while still off.  I can ask about this with the Eaton contacts I have, there might be a solution, but not sure.  This might be doable with Vera's Lua code option.

Over time, the lights on the dimmers will fail.  That means they will go dark or be lit weird.  This is a interaction problem with Vera's zwave version, we know it but Vera will never confirm, so this is why I have to NOT recommend Vera... they will not answer that question.  What ZWave library versions are running per checkbox option that is set? (there are 3 options) There are known buggy ZWave versions out there and it is suspected that this is the problem causing issues with the dimmers.  But since Vera is jerking me around for about a year and I have worked everything else I could in the mean time, you will be stuck with the same problem I have now.  I will likely be moving to the HomeSeer Pro.  To reset a Master is easy, you can use the air gap switch, but this also happens to the remotes and only way to reset them is the breaker.  Eaton, btw, was very pleasant to work with in troubleshooting this problem.

I could not recommend Vera because of: The lack support and the core buggy zwave libraries they use that will cause problems with your dimmers.

-Walt

Offline Auggie

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2014, 10:50:15 pm »
I could not recommend Vera because of: The lack support and the core buggy zwave libraries they use that will cause problems with your dimmers.

-Walt

I wish you chimed in just a wee bit earlier, because I just pulled the trigger today on a Vera3 :-/

For the near term, I would be just happy using the Vera simply to "associate" the master/remotes to each other then not have the Vera process any commands between them.

I only need a Z-Wave controller because I didn't realize when purchasing the 9540's that such a controller is required until after I installed them; Cooper does not offer any other LED-compatible dimmer switches so I had no choice than to get the 9540's.

Going forward, I will certainly be taking advantage of having a Z-Wave controller because I will also be getting a Schlage Camelot Touchscreen handleset which is Z-Wave compatible and expand from there.

Offline wholm

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 09:10:15 am »
Eaton sells a handheld unit that can do the associations for you.

I am sure you could always return the Vera unit, if you just purchased it.

Offline Auggie

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 09:25:19 am »
Eaton sells a handheld unit that can do the associations for you.

I am sure you could always return the Vera unit, if you just purchased it.

Are you referring to the Aspire RF RFHDCSG Handheld Controller?  I already looked at that but at the lowest price of $213 shipped, it was way more expensive than the $159 Vera3 I just bought off Amazon.  I actually found the RFTDCSG Tabletop Controller to be a little cheaper and seemingly more powerful but still ~$200 shipped.

But the Vera3 should give me more flexibility in the future as I add new Z-Wave devices but don't anticipate adding any more Cooper Aspire Z-Wave switches (which are in the kitchen and family room only).

Offline Auggie

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 09:36:23 am »
Over time, the lights on the dimmers will fail.  That means they will go dark or be lit weird.  This is a interaction problem with Vera's zwave version, we know it but Vera will never confirm, so this is why I have to NOT recommend Vera... they will not answer that question.  What ZWave library versions are running per checkbox option that is set? (there are 3 options) There are known buggy ZWave versions out there and it is suspected that this is the problem causing issues with the dimmers.  But since Vera is jerking me around for about a year and I have worked everything else I could in the mean time, you will be stuck with the same problem I have now.  I will likely be moving to the HomeSeer Pro.  To reset a Master is easy, you can use the air gap switch, but this also happens to the remotes and only way to reset them is the breaker.  Eaton, btw, was very pleasant to work with in troubleshooting this problem.

This issue does concern me.  Are you referring to the "lights on the dimmers" as the light fixtures themselves, or the status LEDs on the fronts of the Aspire dimmer switches?  And if its the status LEDs, how did you determine that it was the Vera itself that caused the Aspire LED status lights to "go dark or be lit weird?"  I would assume that external controllers can only send commands that the device itself needs to interpret and internally adjust its LED status lights accordingly, unless the Vera is directly manipulating the LEDs.

If it's the light fixtures themselves that becomes unpredictable, again, I assume that any controller simply sends the commands that the Master 9540 switch intercepts, which in turn physically adjusts the light fixtures (on/off/brightness).  So is it that the Vera was sending incorrect commands to the master dimmer that was determined to be the culprit?

Under which Vera UI (5, 6, and/or 7) have you experienced these issues (and "library" version, since you mentioned it)?

Have you tried simply "associating" the switches and have them run independent of any controller to see if the issue presents itself under that setup?

I can certainly relate to your frustration with support: I was testing out a trial version of Indigo and inquiring about Aspire RF support but got pretty rude, then dismissive responses which the final retort was basically submit a feature request though they may not get to it (if ever) due to their "backlog" of requests.  Hence my selection of the Vera, even though I, too, heard some grumblings of support as the company appears to be focusing on UI7 release verses device compatibility and issues.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 09:46:01 am by Auggie »

Offline wholm

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2015, 08:22:33 pm »
The remotes can fail to operate as expected.  This is due to the fact the controller is likely trying to reprogram the switch and fails and leaves out the group 1 associations.  Masters will work fine usually and they have a disconnect that can locally power cycle the device.

I am still working with Vera, trying to downgrade to 2.78 so this bug doesn't cause a problem.  3.2 uses the latest Zwave 4.52 they say which is known to be buggy.  There are service packs they can apply to fix this problem.  But since there is no way to confirm what they are actually running without them telling us, then you will not know when the problem is fixed.

The lights themselves will not become unpredictable just the switches.  They should more than likely function if they are a master device.  The remotes on the other hand may not because they lose their group 1 due to the Vera.

-Walt

Offline wholm

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2016, 08:11:54 pm »
I would like to update this, I went through a long process to get this working.  I switched to HomeSeer since Cooper OEMs their controller and there was an issue with Zwave builds on the Vera (possibly) at the time.  Well I switched to HomeSeer and same problem happened.  I had to reprogram all the dimmers with the latest code and all the problems stopped.  The issue was with Cooper and it had to do with the software build.  If you purchases the dimmers by the time of my last post in 2015, it would have been fine since the firmwares on the dimmers were up to date by then.

Offline Wekurtz74

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 06:45:03 am »
I would like to update this, I went through a long process to get this working.  I switched to HomeSeer since Cooper OEMs their controller and there was an issue with Zwave builds on the Vera (possibly) at the time.  Well I switched to HomeSeer and same problem happened.  I had to reprogram all the dimmers with the latest code and all the problems stopped.  The issue was with Cooper and it had to do with the software build.  If you purchases the dimmers by the time of my last post in 2015, it would have been fine since the firmwares on the dimmers were up to date by then.

I have Cooper products that are older than 2015.  Can you explain how you reprogrammed the dimmers with the latest code, or point me to a resource concerning this?

Thank you for your anticipated advice.

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Offline wholm

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 08:05:44 am »
I would rather chat privately as some information they might consider not for public.

Offline Wekurtz74

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2016, 12:07:14 pm »
Understandable.   

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Offline shallowearth

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2016, 12:18:06 pm »
I have the Cooper switches in question.  If you want to go the cheap, cheap route to associate them you can use an Aeon mini-mote (essentially controller-less), I was using that before I even had a Vera to associate them.  As I was just doing basic things like turn on the floor lamp in sync with the light switch.  Or adding additional switches in a virtual 3 way by adding the Cooper battery powered dimmer.

Later I moved to the Vera Edge and have not had any problems (I am on firmware 1.7.1248 which was the last good firmware before they went to the buggy z-wave+ self healing firmware on the Z-wave chip)

I did have to write a little bit a LUA code to keep the dimmer LED light on the aux switch in sync with the master, since direct association doesn't work if you manipulate master via a scene.  You can muck with both LEDs on the aux switch using the advanced scene editor functions or LUA code (with out turning the master on or off), you cannot muck with the LED dimmer settings on the master with out turning on the light however as Auggie described (aka you cannot preset the dimmer level to something else while the light is off on the master).

Wholm, can you send me private info on these switches.  I have been running them this way for almost  2 years, if the Vera is going to burn them out, I definitely want to know about it, most of my switches are older.  I have never found a way to get in touch with Cooper or Eaton support, that knows anything about these switches, I would love to talk to them about a different problem I am having

Offline wholm

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2016, 05:26:26 pm »
I have the Cooper switches in question.  If you want to go the cheap, cheap route to associate them you can use an Aeon mini-mote (essentially controller-less), I was using that before I even had a Vera to associate them.  As I was just doing basic things like turn on the floor lamp in sync with the light switch.  Or adding additional switches in a virtual 3 way by adding the Cooper battery powered dimmer.

Later I moved to the Vera Edge and have not had any problems (I am on firmware 1.7.1248 which was the last good firmware before they went to the buggy z-wave+ self healing firmware on the Z-wave chip)

I did have to write a little bit a LUA code to keep the dimmer LED light on the aux switch in sync with the master, since direct association doesn't work if you manipulate master via a scene.  You can muck with both LEDs on the aux switch using the advanced scene editor functions or LUA code (with out turning the master on or off), you cannot muck with the LED dimmer settings on the master with out turning on the light however as Auggie described (aka you cannot preset the dimmer level to something else while the light is off on the master).

Wholm, can you send me private info on these switches.  I have been running them this way for almost  2 years, if the Vera is going to burn them out, I definitely want to know about it, most of my switches are older.  I have never found a way to get in touch with Cooper or Eaton support, that knows anything about these switches, I would love to talk to them about a different problem I am having

I think I know what you are referring to.  Are you talking about how the remote dimming levels do not show in Vera and you cannot control them with a scene?  There is a solution to this that is not documented, well it is but finding that document is impossible.  On the master, you have to go into the advanced settings and set parameter number 10 to a value of 1.  I have to find those exact instructions again.  What this does is it sets off a function in the master to tell the remote to set itself.  Now, this is only the case when the automation controls the master, you never have to do this when you press the master or remote physically.  Also this is only set in the master, not in the remote.

I actually think this worked better with Vera than with HomeSeer.  HomeSeer exposes the device as a dimmable device and the expectation is that when you set the master to a level, that you should do the same with the remote(s).  Pros and Cons to all of this.

The update will not affect this setting in any way.  The update is only needed if you see odd behavior like multiple lights staying lit on the dimmer or weird functionality in that the dimmer ramps up and then turns off even those it's on 100%.  Like I said, odd behavior and this only started showing with a larger set up really.

You want to avoid needing this update, btw.  It takes some expertise and there is no warranty.  And it costs money for the programming tool.  There is risk of blowing out the tool too if you do it wrong and make a mistake of leaving the power on to the device.

If I understood your problem correctly, then if you can wait, I ordered the new Vera and I am planning to switch back to Vera... maybe... so much to reprogram!  Once I do get the device, I will get the exact settings you need to do to make that work.

Offline wholm

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2016, 11:18:27 pm »
Here are the notes I used to set this setting on the Master dimmers:

configuration setting index 10, hex byte with a value of 1

It's an advanced setting for the device, you have to set variable 10, its not something you pick from a pull down or anything like that.  I cannot find my screen shots I had from UI 5.

Offline shallowearth

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Re: Cooper Aspire RF9540-N/RF9542-Z Dimmer Switch Programming
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2016, 03:23:58 pm »
Interesting, I have never seen any documentation on parameter 10 before, I might have to try it out.

As far as the problem with Cooper switches, It sounds like what you are saying is that recent firmwares on Vera have a tendancy to wipe out the Group 1 associations on the switch correct?  And that if that is the case than you need to update the firmware on the switch, or Vera needs to fix their bug.

Glad I stuck on the firmware I am on!